Michael Epps hopes his maiden season in the Renault UK Clio Cup will provide a “useful springboard” to a return to the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship in the future.
Following two seasons in the BTCC, Epps joined the Clio Cup grid this year with the new Matrix Motorsport squad and has enjoyed a strong start to the campaign.
The Hemel Hempstead racer took a pair of top six finishes on the opening weekend at Brands Hatch, and fought back well after a tough qualifying at Donington Park.
Epps is one of fourteen drivers to have finished in the top ten so far, and he feels that level of competition makes the series the best place for him in his quest for a BTCC return.
“I’m in the sphere I want to be in and if you do well in Clio Cup then you know that most of the BTCC teams are watching that,” Epps told Renaultsport UK.
“The racing is very similar. The cars are also very robust which allows you to circulate closely with a bit of rubbing but without eliminating yourself.
“It’s as close as you can get to touring cars without doing touring cars. It’s a fun car to drive – very rewarding, and the series really gives you the race craft.”
Epps, who is leading the 2018 field for overtaking so far this season with 22 places gained in four races, heads to Thruxton this weekend in confident mood.
“I hope think we can come back a bit at the others at Thruxton. It is highly competitive out there and course we don’t have the data the other teams have built up over the years,” he commented.
“We’ve made a tweak or two since Donington that seem to show promise and I think that as long as we continue to improve as we’ve been doing, we can mount a strong challenge.”
Sitting seventh in the standings at present, Epps is clear with his ambitions for the year: “If we can continue progressing like we are then I am going for the title or certainly the top three.”